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20 Must-Dos Before Leaving for Summer Break

The closer it gets to summer vacation, the more likely you are to think about all the fun things you'll do instead of what needs to be done before break actually begins. There are many things you need to remember to take care of so you can have peace of mind during your time off.

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By Jessica Lyons

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1. Make sure you've turned in all of your final assignments.

When you're distracted by your upcoming vacation, it can be easy to forget about all of the assignments you need to complete. Write yourself a checklist of all of your final assignments to ensure that you don't accidentally forget to finish one and turn it in.

2. Get letters of recommendations.

You might need letters of recommendation for potential jobs or special educational programs over the summer, so be sure to get them from your professors before the spring semester ends. It could be difficult to get in touch with them once vacation has already started so it's better to get the letters in advance.

3. Register for your fall semester classes.

If possible, register for next semester's classes before starting your summer vacation. That way you'll be all set and won't have to think of it while you're off. If your school doesn't allow you to register that early, at least make sure you know your registration date. You might want to even program it into your phone so you can get a reminder as the date approaches.

4. Secure fall housing.

Students who are going home for the summer months will want to find housing for the fall beforehand. This could mean scoping out nearby apartments that would have openings available in the fall or making sure you sign up for on-campus student housing.

5. Return all of your library books.

Did you check out some library books that are still on your desk even though the assignments are done? Return them before you forget. You don't want to rack up major late fees because you held onto the book for the entire summer.

6. Talk to your employer.

If you've been working during the school year and want to return to that same job in the fall, express your interest to your employer. They may be willing to hold the job for you. Even though you're talking to them before the summer, you'll also want to touch base with them a little closer to the fall semester so they know you're still interested and genuinely want to work for them again.

7. See if you need to take any summer classes.

Are there any core or introductory classes that you still need to take? Sit down with your academic advisor to see if there are any classes that you should take over the summer to keep you on track for earning your degree on time.

8. Make sure your school has your correct contact information.

There's a good chance that your school will send out important information during the summer. So before your spring semester comes to an end, check that your school has your correct e-mail address and mailing address so you'll definitely get all of the information they send out.

9. Clean your dorm room.

When it comes time to move out of your dorm room, clean every single inch and fix anything you can that might have been broken throughout the course of the school year. Some schools will charge students fees for dorm room damages, so you want to do all that you can to lessen the chance of incurring these fees.

10. Check to see if you have any school commitments during the summer.

Student athletes and leaders might have some commitments that fall during the summer months, such as games, practices, meetings or special events. If you work as an RA or orientation leader, you'll also likely have responsibilities over the summer. Before your vacation gets going, take note of any summer commitments that you'll need to take care of.

11. Sort through old notes and assignments.

While it can be tempting to just throwing everything out as the semester is coming to an end, you might want to take a closer look. After all, there could be something in there that might still be beneficial for an upcoming class. If it can be, definitely hold onto it.

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12. Look for a summer job.

Even though you might be tempted to just have fun the entire summer, you should still take a look to see if you can find at least some part-time work. It will be worth it when you realize you actually have the money to fund all of the fun summer activities you'd like to do.

13. Look for summer educational programs.

Learning doesn't have to end just because the school year has come to a close. Talk to your professors to see if they know about any summer educational programs related to your field of study that you might be interested in. Attending a seminar or workshop could be a great and enjoyable experience.

14. Try to get a list of your fall readings.

Some might not want to spend their entire summer reading for school, but it could still be a good idea to get a list of what you'll be reading in your fall classes. Even a small head start will ease some of your stress once school starts back up again.

15. Say your thank yous.

Were there any professors, staff members, administrators or students who helped you a great deal throughout the school year? If there are, then before summer break is the ideal time to say thank you and express your appreciation. Don't be in such a rush to get to vacation that you forget about the people who took the time to help you.

16. Decide what to do with your textbooks.

Take a look through the textbooks you've amassed during the semester and see if there are any that you want to keep. Once you've sorted through them, get together any you want to sell back and head to the bookstore while they're still doing the buyback period.

17. Return housing keys.

Whether you're moving out of the dorms or an apartment, make arrangements with the appropriate person to turn in your keys. This too can help you avoid extra charges.

18. Renew your FAFSA.

If you rely on financial assistance, you'll need to renew your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Check with your school's financial aid office to see when all of your deadlines are and to find out anything you need to do to make sure you get financial aid again next year.

19. Check your school's summer resources.

Even without classes in session, your school might still have plenty to offer over the summer. This could include access to the fitness center or computer lab, special events and use of the library. Find out what your school will have available during the summer in case there's something you want to take advantage of.

20. Celebrate!

While there are plenty of important things you need to remember to do before summer vacation, you should also remember that you've put in a lot of hard work during the school year. Once all of your responsibilities have been properly taken care of, plan a nice little celebration with your friends.

The summer months will give you time to do a lot of different things. If you don't want all of those activities to break the bank, find out how to have fun on a student's budget.

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